The Feasts of Israel: Foreshadowing the Messiah

Authored by André Villeneuve in Issue #3.1 of The Catechetical Review

The Jewish feasts commemorate God’s sovereign deliverance of his people from Egypt and his providential care for them throughout the Exodus. Yet as important as these holy days are for Jews, they are also significant for Christians, for they foreshadow God's plan of salvation for the world in Christ. The meaning of the Jewish feasts, along with their messianic and typological fulfillment for Christians, is the subject of the present article—the first of two parts.

The Seven Mosaic Feasts

Israel’s liturgical calendar comprises seven divinely instituted festivals.[i] As outlined in Leviticus chapter 23, these are grouped in three major seasons:

Early Spring

The Feast of Passover (Lev 23:4-5)
The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:6-8)
The Feast of the Sheaf of Firstfruits (Lev 23:9-14)
Late Spring
The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Lev 23:15-22)
Fall

The Feast of Trumpets (Lev 23:23-25)
The Day of Atonement (Lev 23:26-32)
The Feast of Booths or Tabernacles (Lev 23:33-44)
Here in part 1, we will look at the four spring festivals—from Passover to Pentecost—in the Jewish liturgical year and the broader context of salvation history. In part 2, we will examine the significance of the fall festivals.

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This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

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